The United States is the land of the free. But American companies such as Cisco, Google, Yahoo and Microsoft are taking a dual — some would say two-faced — approach to freedom: They believe in global human rights, but are helping the Chinese government filter and censor the Internet. Google recently got in hot water for its new Google.cn search engine that blocks results to search terms chosen by the Chinese government. And now the group Reporters Without Borders, which tracks jailed journalists and cyberdissidents around the globe, reports that Yahoo Hong Kong turned over data to the Chinese government leading to an eight-year prison term for cyberdissident Li Zhi in December 2003. The U.S. Congress will hold a hearing on Feb. 15 on the topic of Net companies colluding with China. What do you think about this behavior? Is it OK because shareholders demand doing business with China? Should the government step in? Should users boycott the companies?
What do you think of Internet companies colluding with the Chinese government?
By Mark Glaser
February 8, 2006
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